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View Full Version : Smoking in classrooms - how recently did this stop?


Argent Towers
09-26-2008, 12:23 AM
At Indiana University, many classrooms actually have giant "NO SMOKING" signs on the walls - as if anyone could possibly conceive of lighting a cigarette in a college classroom and smoking, nowadays. The signs are such an anachronism, it's insane. It makes me wonder, how recently could one smoke in a college class?

Also, in high school, I assume students were never allowed to smoke in class, even long ago, but were teachers? Did anyone here have high school teachers who smoked while teaching?

Oakminster
09-26-2008, 12:28 AM
I smoked in some classes from 1985-1987. Very small classes, taught in the Prof's office, 6-8 students. Prof was a smoker, as were most of the students.

As far as I know, it was not allowed in any regular sized class.

My dad smoked while lecturing...generally a pipe, until he quit smoking in 1987.

Cisco
09-26-2008, 12:35 AM
My mom told me once that when she was in high school, every time the lights went down to show a film strip or something, everybody lit up, including the teacher. She was born in '56 so do the math for what years she was in high school.

I smoked in a regular high school classroom once. The teacher got called away and was gone forever (turned out she got a phone call that her dad died) and a few of us went to the back of the room and lit up cigarettes and blew the smoke out the window. In shop class we smoked in the back of the room every day. There were windows on each side of the room and big fans that blew so hard you could barely see the smoke, much less smell it. This was technically not allowed at all but there's no way the teacher didn't know what we were doing back there.

When I start college in '97 my school had exterior hallways so we could smoke immediately outside the classroom doors.

Cunctator
09-26-2008, 12:42 AM
It had certainly been banished from lecture theatres when I was first at uni in the early 1980s.

When I was at school (in the 1970s), being caught smoking anywhere on the school grounds was a serious misdemeanour.

Spectre of Pithecanthropus
09-26-2008, 01:05 AM
When I finished HS in 1975 there was a senior smoking area, where students over the age of 18 were allowed to smoke. Teachers could smoke, I think, as long as they kept it to the faculty lounge. I don't think they were ever allowed to smoke while teaching, and nowadays the schools in this district are completely nonsmoking.

That fall when I got to uni, the lecture halls still had ashtrays on the back of every third seat or so, but smoking in class had just been banned the year before. However, like Oakminster, I had one or two very small classes where just three or four students met with the professor in his office, and a couple of us smoked, as did the prof, who usually provided coffee for all.

Darryl Lict
09-26-2008, 01:07 AM
I was born in 1958 and I don't ever remembering any teacher or student smoking in class. The bathrooms and teacher's lounges were a completely different story though.

BellRungBookShut-CandleSnuffed
09-26-2008, 01:33 AM
My dad went to boarding school (in New England) in the mid-60s. They still had butt-rooms in the dorms.

When I was in college (round the millenium), one math prof used to take a smoke break (a pipe) in the middle of class. I think it was a 2-hr lecture, and he would give us a 5 or 10 min break in the middle. No smoking in the classrooms, though.

Declan
09-26-2008, 01:33 AM
At Indiana University, many classrooms actually have giant "NO SMOKING" signs on the walls - as if anyone could possibly conceive of lighting a cigarette in a college classroom and smoking, nowadays. The signs are such an anachronism, it's insane. It makes me wonder, how recently could one smoke in a college class?

86/87 when I went to Seneca college in Ontario, which was a pleasant surprise.

Declan

MissGypsy
09-26-2008, 01:39 AM
At Indiana University, many classrooms actually have giant "NO SMOKING" signs on the walls - as if anyone could possibly conceive of lighting a cigarette in a college classroom and smoking, nowadays. The signs are such an anachronism, it's insane. It makes me wonder, how recently could one smoke in a college class?

I recall those signs at IU, but way back when I was there, a whopping 15 years ago, one could smoke in the lounge in Ernie Pyle (the Journalism School, for those who aren't familiar), and part of the IMU (student union building) was a smoking section. I'm sure that isn't allowed, now.

Purgatory Creek
09-26-2008, 01:44 AM
In our school district (Minneapolis--I would have graduated in 1977 if I'd ever gone to high school), the "alternative" school actually allowed the high school students to smoke in the classrooms. It was a misguided 1970's attempt to keep kids in school at any cost.

In the regular high school all my friends attended, the parking lot behind the school was the tacit student smoking area. There was no official mention of it, but no authorities tried to intervene, either.

Argent Towers
09-26-2008, 01:46 AM
The whole campus is "smoke free" now, but people still smoke. In fact, since they took away the ashtrays, now they just throw their stubs on the ground.

Declan
09-26-2008, 01:50 AM
The whole campus is "smoke free" now, but people still smoke. In fact, since they took away the ashtrays, now they just throw their stubs on the ground.

Well ya, simply designating the campus as non smoking is not going to do bupkiss. Heck I got a hospital where I live that proudly proclaims that the whole property is non smoking, so what think happens. They just close their eyes to the non smoking thats happening.

declan

Cisco
09-26-2008, 01:59 AM
The whole campus is "smoke free" now, but people still smoke. In fact, since they took away the ashtrays, now they just throw their stubs on the ground.

They're trying to do this at my school too. It's the most ridiculous thing ever. It's not technically a "smoke-free campus" (yet) but they put up no smoking signs EVERYWHERE and took away all the ashtrays and I swear there's like one hidden smoking area about 3 feet wide on the far end of campus behind the underwater basket-weaving building. The result? All the smokers who used to respect the reasonable amount of non-smoking areas and use ashtrays just smoke EVERYWHERE now and toss their butts at random. I've even seen people smoking in the "meditation garden" now which has always been non-smoking and I never saw anyone doing that before they pulled this nonsense.

Argent Towers
09-26-2008, 02:06 AM
There are hardly any professors here who smoke, but there's one guy - a professor of Yiddish Studies - who defiantly keeps the practice alive. The guy is from Poland or Russia or something and obviously the people there don't give a shit about any "smoke free" anything. He's like 6'2 and looks to be about 350 pounds, shaped like a beer keg topped with a gigantic graying Jew-fro and the bushiest face this side of Grizzly Adams. It's like they picked "Yiddish professor" right out of central casting. The guy's unmistakable.

Cicero
09-26-2008, 06:26 AM
In school- mid 60's- it was illegal for teachers to smoke in front of a class in Qld (or wasn't allowed).

Kalhoun
09-26-2008, 06:29 AM
My mom told me once that when she was in high school, every time the lights went down to show a film strip or something, everybody lit up, including the teacher. She was born in '56 so do the math for what years she was in high school.

I smoked in a regular high school classroom once. The teacher got called away and was gone forever (turned out she got a phone call that her dad died) and a few of us went to the back of the room and lit up cigarettes and blew the smoke out the window. In shop class we smoked in the back of the room every day. There were windows on each side of the room and big fans that blew so hard you could barely see the smoke, much less smell it. This was technically not allowed at all but there's no way the teacher didn't know what we were doing back there.

When I start college in '97 my school had exterior hallways so we could smoke immediately outside the classroom doors.

I was born in 56 and we had a smoking area in HS but were not allowed to smoke in class. I smoked in class in college, though.

Ronald C. Semone
09-26-2008, 07:19 AM
This is a slight hijack, but until around 1950 smoking was allowed on the city buses of my home town, Worcester, Mass. There was a big, nasty debate and a lot of hard feelings when smoking was finally banned on the buses. What's the latest anyone remembers smoking being allowed on buses?

Cicero
09-26-2008, 07:28 AM
In Brisbane the trams (not buses) were always open air and as long as I remember had a sign "Smoking allowed rear of line only". So the men were supposed to sit in the back.

However, reach a terminus and the tram changed- the back became the front.

We got rid of trams around 1967.

PharmBoy
09-26-2008, 07:58 AM
I had one prof in college (mid-80's) who smoked in class. I remember being a bit shocked when she lit up the first time.

However, the hallways were fair game. I remember I had a TA for organic chem lab that smoked right outside the lab, where we frequently used ether and other flammable chemicals...:rolleyes:

Mahna Mahna
09-26-2008, 09:24 AM
My parents graduated in from med school in the mid-70's. My dad remembers that both students and profs would occasionally smoke during lectures... in fact, he even recalls the prof smoking while delivering a lecture on the potential ill effects of smoking.

Some of my older friends can remember people lighting up in their offices or cubicles as recently as the late 80s, and we had designated indoor smoking lounges at work until quite recently (they were finally closed when new laws came in banning any smoking in or around workplaces, even in special ventilated rooms).

jali
09-26-2008, 09:43 AM
This is a slight hijack, but until around 1950 smoking was allowed on the city buses of my home town, Worcester, Mass. There was a big, nasty debate and a lot of hard feelings when smoking was finally banned on the buses. What's the latest anyone remembers smoking being allowed on buses?

I visited my girlfriend in 1975 or 1976 in Columbia, S.C. and it was okay to smoke on busses then.

kiz
09-26-2008, 09:55 AM
In high school you could smoke on campus as long as you stayed in the designated "butt area".

We had "No Smoking" signs in college. This was in the early 1980s. I don't remember ever being in a class where anyone smoked. I presumed, though, that people did smoke in class sometime during the 60s and 70s.

Leaffan
09-26-2008, 09:57 AM
There was an outside smoking area at my high school. I was there from 76 to 80. Cigarettes weren't the only things being smoked. ;)

Teachers smoked in the teacher's lounge. No one smoked in classrooms, and washrooms were technically out of bounds too, but that didn't stop a lot of students from sneaking a puff between class.

When I attended college in 1980 it was the first year that smoking was banned from classrooms. The only place you could smoke was the cafeteria.

When I started working full time in 1985 you could smoke in your cubicle. A couple of years later a cubicle ban was in place, and once again the cafeteria was the only indoor place you could smoke.

Lunches sure were delicious back then!

It really is unfathomable now to think that simply lighting up at your desk or anywhere indoors was "the norm."

Cisco
09-26-2008, 11:18 AM
I was born in 56 and we had a smoking area in HS but were not allowed to smoke in class.

In case it wasn't clear, my mom wasn't allowed to smoke in class either. It just wasnt' really enforced when it was dark and the teacher "couldn't see you." It was like chewing gum: technically against the rules but no one enforces it once you get to high school unless you're smacking and blowing bubbles in their face.

Spectre of Pithecanthropus
09-26-2008, 01:38 PM
My parents graduated in from med school in the mid-70's. My dad remembers that both students and profs would occasionally smoke during lectures... in fact, he even recalls the prof smoking while delivering a lecture on the potential ill effects of smoking.

As they are only human like the rest of us, it took the medical profession years if not decades to stop smoking. My father, now a retired doc, didn't stop until about 1970, after first trying to reduce the risk by switching to small cigars. Those didn't work out for him because he couldn't help inhaling the way one does with cigarettes. I imagine this happened to a lot of people back then. Cigars and cigarettes aren't smoked in the same way, and it's hard to switch to the cigar method if you are only used to cigarettes. As an aside, pot is smoked in a way of its own, different from both. You'd think the methodology of all smoking would be the same, but it isn't.

Spectre of Pithecanthropus
09-26-2008, 01:49 PM
When I was at school (in the 1970s), being caught smoking anywhere on the school grounds was a serious misdemeanour.

"at school" = everything before uni? I ask, because in American "at school" can be anything from kindergarten to a Ph.D. course.

With regard to schoolteachers smoking, we should remember that schools and school districts were prejudicial against smoking even 100 and more years ago. Many of the teachers were young women hired out of college or normal school, and it was common to require that they be single and of good moral character. Smoking by women was seldom acceptable back then, so it wasn't a tobacco-friendly environment.

Spectre of Pithecanthropus
09-26-2008, 01:52 PM
About my dad the doctor, it's funny to think that he really started his smoking habit as a medic in Korea; he wasn't in a M*A*S*H, but in a more permanent installation. They probably all smoked like chimneys, but in the TV show there's nary a cigarette to be seen.

Cisco
09-26-2008, 02:00 PM
With regard to schoolteachers smoking, we should remember that schools and school districts were prejudicial against smoking even 100 and more years ago. Many of the teachers were young women hired out of college or normal school, and it was common to require that they be single and of good moral character. Smoking by women was seldom acceptable back then, so it wasn't a tobacco-friendly environment.
I clearly remember being in 5th grade and walking past the teacher's lounge every day on the way to my classroom and getting blasted by a big whiff of smoke. This would've been 1991. That must've been the last year they allowed that because I knew which teachers smoked and in 6th grade I would always stare out the windows and see them walking back and forth to the woods out behind the school to smoke, and I never smelled anything coming out of the teacher's lounge anymore. The high school I went to had a smoking area for seniors until about 2 years before I got there (I started h.s. in 1995.) Of course, this was in North Carolina, the state with a ban on smoking bans, so we were probably a little later to catch on than most states.

Harriet the Spry
09-26-2008, 02:45 PM
In the mid-'70s in Minneapolis, my mom decided against sending me to a progressive private elementary school because they let the teachers smoke in the classrooms. In the public schools at that time smoking in classrooms would have been completely unheard of, though.

Diogenes the Cynic
09-26-2008, 02:57 PM
I smoked in a college classroom in 1984.

Hari Seldon
09-26-2008, 03:06 PM
I was in HS in the early 50s and students were forbidden to smoke anywhere on the rather large (17 acre) school grounds and the teachers only in the teacher's lounge (which reeked!). But we students all smoked on the south lawn of the school and no one ever said "boo". In college in the late 50s the students and teachers smoked regularly in classrooms and no one thought anything of it. When I became a lecturer, asst. prof., etc., I smoked freely in the classrooms and so did the students (mid-60s). When I had a heart attack in '65, I stopped and have not smoked since, but the students still smoked. When I moved to my current position (from which I am now retired) in 1968, I think classroom smoking was waning and probably disappeared in the 70s. There are now no-smoking signs in the classrooms. The crusade then turned to private offices. Smoking was banned in them in maybe 1990. So there was a mid-morning and mid-afternoon gathering outside every building door and they eventually put up ashtrays by the doors. Then some years ago, the province of Quebec banned smoking within 9 meters (why 9?) of any public building, which every university building is. But I still see a regular mid-morning and mid-afternoon crowd puffing away, even when it is -25 C (-13 F).

One effect this has is that people do not take offense if you ask them not to smoke in your home and even smokers end up smoking a lot less than they would otherwise. Our next-door neighbor walks his dog ten times a day because his wife will not permit him to smoke indoors. She is a breast cancer survivor (more than 30 years ago) and so may have a special reason.

DrDeth
09-26-2008, 03:48 PM
No Smoking in any HS in my area in the 70's. Except in the teachers lounge. That is what "Smoking in the Boy's Room" is about.

In College, only in lounges and outside the classroom.

fifty-six
09-26-2008, 04:56 PM
I grew up in North Texas.

My elementary school Principle smoked cigars in the hallways. We use to get in trouble if we make choking sounds. Late 70's.

vivalostwages
09-26-2008, 05:04 PM
I went through college and university in the late 80s to early 90s and never conceived of anyone smoking inside a classroom.

The newest rule is that one shouldn't smoke within 20 feet or so of the classrooms, though this is routinely violated.

FallenAngel
09-26-2008, 05:13 PM
I went to U of Toledo from 87-92. We could smoke in the hallways of all the class buildings until 90 or so, but not in class, that was eliminated in 86.

The second newspaper I worked at (1993-94) we could (and did) smoke at our desks. The workplace smoking ban started in Ohio right after I left that job.

I remember when I was a kid that my folks smoked in line at the bank and while shopping in department stores. I guess that went on until about 80 or so.

Kyla
09-26-2008, 06:22 PM
In Bulgaria, I never heard of a teacher actually smoking IN CLASS, but I wouldn't be surprised if it happens. The secretary of our school smokes like a chimney, in her office. Once I was working with the Russian teacher (another smoking fiend) on a project in the school computer lab and he pulled out a cigarette and started lighting up before I pointed out that the school was supposed to be non-smoking. That was last year. There's a rather new law that there has to be a non-smoking area in restaurants. Most restaurants have followed this law by putting a little no-smoking sign on one table, all surrounded by tables full of people smoking. SO helpful.

It's only really recently that smoking has been banned in busses, and they still allow the drivers to smoke, in Bulgaria and Turkey, too. A woman smoked on the bus from Sarajevo to Skopje, and no one told her to put it out. She was wearing a hijab, too, which made me even crosser - I'm pretty sure cigarettes are un-Islamic.

People smoked in the hallways of my university in Israel. That was in 1998/1999. There were signs posted that smoking was forbidden, but they were ignored.

Hyperelastic
09-26-2008, 06:22 PM
Smoking was not allowed in classrooms in my high school, but there was a courtyard immediately adjacent to half the classrooms, in which seniors were allowed to smoke. This was in 1987.

Cunctator
09-26-2008, 11:13 PM
"at school" = everything before uni? I ask, because in American "at school" can be anything from kindergarten to a Ph.D. course.Yes, I meant high school. "At school" in Australia refers to primary and secondary education only. Once you're into the optional tertiary stage, it's no longer "school".

DrDeth
09-27-2008, 02:08 AM
About my dad the doctor, it's funny to think that he really started his smoking habit as a medic in Korea; he wasn't in a M*A*S*H, but in a more permanent installation. They probably all smoked like chimneys, but in the TV show there's nary a cigarette to be seen.

It's not nessesary, just like it's rarely nessesary to show dudes taking a piss. Look at Thank You for Smoking, where the Protagonist is a 4 pack a day man, but is never seen smoking.

DLuxN8R-13
09-27-2008, 10:29 AM
At my HS (class of 1977) there was an outdoor smoking area for students, while teachers smoked in their lounge -- this was in deepest darkest Central West Virginia, where nearly everyone smoked, chewed, or dipped, and some people did two at one time. This was both more and less restrictive than it had been at the previous high school which was closed in '74 -- the new school was a closed campus, while in the old one on-campus smoking wasn't permitted for the students, but they were allowed to leave the premises between classes and during the noon break to smoke a cigarette, buy lunch at the corner store, get loaded, or whatever.

In college (circa '78-81, another section of the same State), it was at the discretion of the instructor; most classrooms/lecture areas were assumed non-smoking, but the head of the Psych Department, for example, was a smoker and you were allowed to smoke in her classes as long as you used an ashtray and did not otherwise create a distraction.

Cisco
09-27-2008, 01:27 PM
It's not nessesary, just like it's rarely nessesary to show dudes taking a piss. Look at Thank You for Smoking, where the Protagonist is a 4 pack a day man, but is never seen smoking.

Really? The Aaron Eckhart character? I don't remember that. Are you sure he wasn't making that up as part of a pitch or something? Not showing a 4 pack a day smoker smoke is quite unrealistic, as that is a 1 cigarette every 12 minutes habit. He would literally have a cigarette in his hand at pretty much all times.

DrDeth
09-28-2008, 12:59 AM
Really? The Aaron Eckhart character? I don't remember that. Are you sure he wasn't making that up as part of a pitch or something? Not showing a 4 pack a day smoker smoke is quite unrealistic, as that is a 1 cigarette every 12 minutes habit. He would literally have a cigarette in his hand at pretty much all times.

The Doctors mentioned that that was the only reason why he lived through the attack by nicotine patches.

DMark
09-28-2008, 02:36 AM
When I was teaching ESL in Germany in the early 80's, it was common to have an ashtray in the classroom for smokers. It was, however, considered polite to ask if anyone objected before lighting up. Usually nobody cared, but they always asked first.

AK84
09-28-2008, 05:24 AM
I'm pretty sure cigarettes are un-Islamic.

Errr no they are not!

Boyo Jim
09-28-2008, 08:47 AM
I was born in 1958 and I don't ever remembering any teacher or student smoking in class. The bathrooms and teacher's lounges were a completely different story though.

Me too, right down to my year of birth.

Though smoking in the workplace was the rule rather than the exception through the mid-80s at least.